From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PRESBYTERIAN MISSION SCHOOL IN TEXAS CRUNCHED
05 May 1996 07:32:43
95044 PRESBYTERIAN MISSION SCHOOL IN TEXAS CRUNCHED
BY PESO CRISIS
by Jerry L. Van Marter
KINGSVILLE, Texas--The economic crisis in Mexico that has sent the
value of the peso plummeting is taking a serious toll on students
at the Presbyterian Pan American School (PPAS) here, which draws
about 50 percent of its students from Mexico.
About 70 percent of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related
coeducational college-preparatory school's students receive
financial aid. The devalued peso means parents can afford a
smaller percentage of their children's tuition, which in turn puts
more stress on available financial aid funds at the school.
Wayne Hawkins, PPAS director of development, explained,
"Consider a currency that trades at a ratio of three to the dollar.
If it suddenly fell to a ratio of six to the dollar, we would say
that it dropped 50 percent versus the dollar. However, if you are
on the other side of the border and are buying dollars you need
twice as many pesos, so your cost has increased 100 percent.
Imagine your salary was fixed, and a major expenditure, such as
your mortgage payment, suddenly doubled. Compound the problem with
a 20 percent inflation rate. Would you be in trouble?"
All students have been re-enrolled for the spring semester,
said PPAS president Abraham Torres, even though many parents will
not be able to meet tuition payments. "We are operating on faith
that somewhere we will find a means to meet the shortfall.
Explanations about balances of trade and exchange rates are totally
unsatisfying to hurting teenagers who fear their dreams may be
coming to an end. We can't allow that to happen, can we?"
The school's board of trustees met in late January to organize
a special appeal to churches and individuals. An Extra Commitment
Opportunity account (ECO #862808) has been established in
Louisville. Those wishing to contribute may do so through their
congregation, including on the check the ECO account number and the
words "PPAS Scholarships."
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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